Manual ventilations during cardiac arrest are frequently performed outside of recommended guidelines. Real-time feedback has been shown to improve chest compression quality, but the use of feedback to guide ventilation volume and rate has not been studied. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of a real-time visual feedback system for ventilation volume and rate improves manual ventilation quality during simulated cardiac arrest.
Teams of 2 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) performed two 8-min rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a manikin during a simulated cardiac arrest scenario with one EMT performing ventilations while the other performed compressions. The EMTs switched roles every 2 min. During the first round of CPR, ventilation and chest compression feedback was disabled on a monitor/defibrillator. Following a 20-min rest period and a brief session to familiarize the EMTs with the feedback technology, the trial was repeated with feedback enabled. The primary outcome variables for the study were ventilations and chest compressions within target. Ventilation rate (target, 8–10 breaths/minute) and tidal volume (target, 425–575 ml) were measured using a novel differential pressure-based flow sensor. Data were analyzed using paired t tests.
Ten teams of 2 EMTs completed the study. Mean percentages of ventilations performed in target for rate (41% vs. 71%, p < 0.01), for volume (31% vs. 79%, p < 0.01), and for rate and volume together (10% vs. 63%, p < 0.01) were significantly greater with feedback.
The use of a novel visual feedback system for ventilation quality increased the percentage of ventilations in target for rate and volume during simulated CPR. Real-time feedback to perform ventilations within recommended guidelines during cardiac arrest should be further investigated in human resuscitation.